LA Worst City for Dog Attacks on Mail Carriers: Study

The US Postal Service's study comes a week after a fatal mauling and an attack on a girl by pit bulls in Southern California

By Jason Kandel
|  Friday, May 17, 2013  |  Updated 12:34 AM CDT
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A new report reveals that Los Angeles leads the nation in dog attacks on mail carriers. Eleasha Gall of SPCA Los Angeles showed ways to protect yourself against a possible dog attack. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 16, 2013.

Gordon Tokumatsu, Edwin Calderon

A new report reveals that Los Angeles leads the nation in dog attacks on mail carriers. Eleasha Gall of SPCA Los Angeles showed ways to protect yourself against a possible dog attack. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 16, 2013.

Photos and Videos

Victim's Husband Mourns After Deadly Pit Bull Attack

Pamela Devitt was on one of her regular walks around Littlerock when she was fatally mauled by pit bulls on Thursday. "She was walking to keep herself healthy for a long life," her husband said. The pit bulls' owner was arrested for unrelated drug charges. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 10, 2013.

Second Pit Bull Attack in As Many Days

A girl walking her dog in Corona was attacked in the second such incident in Southern California in as many days. Tena Ezzeddine reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2013.
More Photos and Videos

Los Angeles was the worst city in the U.S. for dog attacks on letter carriers last year, according a new report by the U.S. Postal Service.

The Postal Service released its dog attack city rankings on Wednesday as a prelude to National Dog Bite Prevention Week and urges pet owners to help reduce the incidence of dog bites to letter carriers.

“If our letter carriers deem your loose dog to be a threat, you’ll be asked to pick up your mail at the Post Office until it’s safe to deliver,” said Ken Snavely, acting postmaster of Los Angeles, where 69 postal employees were attacked last year.

Nationwide, 5,879 postal employees were attacked.

Snavely said that in situations where a dog roams the neighborhood, delivery to the owner’s neighbors could be curtailed as well.

Also, when letter carriers come to a customer’s door, pet owners are asked to place dogs in a separate room and close the door, as many canines have been known to jump through screen and glass doors.

Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem.

Nearly 5,900 letter carriers were attacked last year, but that pales in comparison to the 4.7 million Americans annually bitten by dogs — more than half of whom are children — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Many dogs are cherished members of their family and people believe their dog won’t bite, but given the right circumstances, any dog can attack," Snavely said. “Dogs do not reason like people do and they will react to their instinct to protect their family and territory."

Just last week, a woman was fatally mauled by several pit bulls while on a jog in the high desert community of Littlerock, north of Los Angeles. Three days later, a girl on a walk in Corona was attacked by a pit bull.

Fiscal Year 2012 U.S. Postal Service Dog Attack City Ranking


Ranking

City, State

Attacks

1

Los Angeles, CA

69

2

San Antonio, TX and Seattle, WA

42

3

Chicago, IL

41

4

San Francisco, CA

38

5

Philadelphia, PA

34

6

Detroit, MI

33

7

St. Louis, MO

32

8

Baltimore, MD and Sacramento, CA

29

9

Houston, TX and Minneapolis, MN

27

10

Cleveland and Dayton, OH

26

11

Buffalo and Brooklyn, NY

24

12

Denver, CO

23

13

Dallas, TX and Tacoma, WA

21

14

Wichita, KS

20

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